Some 8.2m - a 33.7% share - stayed tuned to the ceremony between 7.30pm and 10pm as the likes of Girls Aloud, Rod Stewart and One Direction performed for the Queen. A further 379,000 also caught the annual event on ITV1 +1.
While viewing figures have risen 20% year-on-year, ITV couldn't quite match BBC One's 2010 audience.
Over on BBC One, 8.30pm's Panorama interested 2.63m (10.4%), and 3.39m (13.8%) watched a repeat of New Tricks in the 9pm hour.
BBC One also lost to ITV in the soaps battle, as well as the 5pm game show clash with The Chase drawing 3.55m (22.7%) and 176k to Pointless's 3.09m (18.6%).
Elsewhere, BBC Two's audience share was consistently high as Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (2.31m/11%), University Challenge (2.57m/9.9%), MasterChef: The Professionals (2.97m/11.7%) and new documentary Inside Claridge's (3.19m/13%) all pulled in strong audiences.
Stephen Fry's Gadget Man was Channel 4's most-watched broadcast with 1.1m (4.4%) at 8.30pm (+1: 150k), while 5's Gadget Show took 799k (3.1%).
Overall, ITV1 ruled primetime with 31.4% (+1: 1.2%) against BBC One's 17%. BBC Two strolled into third place with 9%, way ahead of Channel 4's 3.3% (+1: 0.6%), and Channel 5's 2.5% (+1: 0.1%).
An Only Way Is Essex live special topped the multichannel ratings with 884k (4.7%) at 10pm (+1: 147k).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional